A 3-judge bench conducting case management for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) appeal has responded to President Uhuru Kenyatta remarks on the Judiciary subverting the will of the people. Court of Appeal President Justice Daniel Musinga, and Justices Hannah Okwengu and Roselyn Nambuye – on Wednesday, June 2 – were deliberating on how the BBI appeal case would be heard. Lawyers opposing the BBI sought the court’s directive on Uhuru’s speech and how the court would manage the BBI case after seemingly being put under pressure by the Executive. Musinga -while playing cagey with his answer – stated that the President’s remarks will be addressed “at an appropriate time”.
He added that “Let us respect one another and be balanced in our comments. Please allow the court to make a fair properly informed decision without unnecessary attacks, comments by all concerned. “Let us realise that we have an important judicial process which must be handled in a sober manner. Let us not prosecute our respective positions in the media.” Uhuru during the Madaraka Day Celebrations held at Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu on Tuesday, June 1, accused the Judiciary of frustrating his regime. He argued that the war is evidenced through the nullification of his Presidential election win in 2017 to the attempt to stop the will of the people as expressed through BBI. “The Judiciary has tested our constitutional limits, but not broken them. We must follow the Rule of Law and obey the decisions of the courts but the sovereign and supreme voice of the People of Kenya must also be followed. And that is why our National Conversation today must focus on the Burden of Choice.
“BBI is meant to build bridges, create inclusive politics, and end the ethnic majoritarianism of two tribes,” Uhuru argued. He added that he had trust and belief in the lawyers appointed to handle the case. The lawyers include former Attorney-General Githu Muigai and Eric Gumbo representing the IEBC, Waweru Gatonye and Mohammed Nyaoga representing the President, James Orengo and Paul Mwangi for the BBI secretariat, Martha Karua and Nelson Havi for opposing parties. The Court of Appeal in its deliberations guided that the BBI appeal case will be heard towards the end of June 2021 and early July 2021. A 7-judge bench will be appointed to determine the case which will be conducted outside the high court in a tent, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. The High Court, on May 13, declared the BBI as null and void, arguing that it was illegal and flouted the Constitution.
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